Gentry receives teaching excellence award

Published 2:48 pm Monday, January 15, 2018

Maddy Gentry, a fifth grade teacher at Inman Intermediate School, has been named a recipient of the 2017 Childers Education Foundation Teaching Excellence Award from Furman University.

Gentry, who earned her B.A. in elementary education from Furman in May 2017, received a $1,500 award during a conferral ceremony and special reception at Furman last month.

Childers Award winner Maddy Gentry (left) is pictured with Furman Dean of the Faculty Ken Peterson (center) and fellow honoree Caroline Brearley of Spartanburg District 6.

A committee of Furman faculty, along with school administrators and mentor teachers who worked closely with award nominees, used three main criteria in selecting Gentry for the award: love of content, love of teaching, and love of student.

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“Ms. Gentry is constantly working to learn more in order to plan lessons that are engaging, high-quality, challenging, and differentiated to meet the needs of each and every one of her students,” said Margaret Bucher, an adjunct instructor at Furman University and one of Gentry’s mentors.

“Teaching is not just a job to me. I see it as a life calling,” said Gentry, who is also pursuing her master’s degree with a concentration in special education from Furman. “When I am in a classroom that is full of students who are ready and eager to learn, I am the happiest I have ever been. I am proud to call myself a teacher.”

The award for first year teachers was established in 2009 by Marybeth Bunting Childers ’80, an education major at Furman who founded two schools and was named North Carolina Teacher of the Year, and her husband, Alfred Childers ‘80, a former member of Furman’s board of trustees.

– submitted by Sandra Williams